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You want to give back to the community and make sure children get a great education. Teachers don't go into the profession for money or glamour, and generally have an interest in doing good. But can doing something bad in your past keep you from ever getting a teaching job?
A criminal record can be an impediment to any profession, and teachers are more carefully screened than most professionals. So here's how a criminal record may affect getting a teaching job.
On the Record
Generally speaking, it is not whether a past criminal offense will prohibit you from getting a teaching job, but which criminal offenses might stand in your way. Generally speaking, teacher hiring is done by local school districts, which adhere to state regulations on teacher certification. Thus the guidelines for which crimes will prevent you from becoming a teacher can vary from state to state, and sometimes from county to county. Usually, minor citations or misdemeanors won't be automatic barriers to employment as a teacher. But serious felonies and certain other crimes can be "showstoppers," as they say:
Off the Record
But just because you have a criminal record doesn't mean you'll never teach. There are ways to get a job with a criminal record, and there are ways to get your criminal record expunged. To find out if your criminal conviction might keep you from becoming a teacher, consult local school board policy or an experienced criminal attorney.